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Hank Helf

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Henry Hartz Helf

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Texas native Hank Helf spent fourteen seasons in professional baseball from 1934 to 1949. He was signed by the Cleveland Indians in 1934 and was assigned to the Zanesville Greys of the class C Middle Atlantic League. He appeared in 102 games at the catchers position, hitting .312 with ten home runs. This was the only season that Helf hit over the .300 mark in his minor and major league careers.

Helf spent four seasons (1934-1937) in the minors before making his big league debut with the Indians on May 5, 1938. Hank appeared in six games with the big league club this year and would return in the 1940 season in a one game appearance before being purchased by the Nashville Volunteers of the Southern Association from the Indians club in December, 1940.

Hank spent the next three seasons in the high minors and on November 1, 1943 was drafted by the St. Louis Browns from the Milwaukee Brewers of the American Association in the 1943 Rule V Draft. The next two years (1944-1945) found Hank in the United States Navy during World War II. He was back in time for the 1946 season and spent his first full year in the major leagues with the Browns. He was behind the plate in 71 games with the St. Louis club, hitting just .192 and this would end his big league run with a three season total of 78 appearances and a .184 batting average.

The navy veteran spent the next three seasons (1947-1949) in the minor leagues and in 1948 was a player-manager for the Springfield Browns of the class B Three-I League. He appeared in just two games in the 1949 season and called it a career at the age of 35. His minor league stats show he appeared in 1,077 games with over a .260 batting average and 77 home runs.

After baseball Helf was employed for some time with the Austin Police Department and retired after twenty years of service with the Austin National Bank. Henry Hartz Helf passed away on October 27, 1984 in Austin, TX at the age of 71.

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